home gratitude

Marian ParsonsMy House19 Comments

“Your home is a gift and a blessing.”  Those are the words that lead off day 1 of the 31 day challenge in Loving the Home You Have, a new book by Melissa Michaels of The Inspired Room.  Reading those simple words pushed me into really thinking about my attitude towards my home.


If someone asked me, “Are you thankful for you home?”  I would answer without hesitation, “Yes.”  But if someone asked me to give them a tour of my house, I would most likely point out all of the things on my to-do list, the plans and the I-haven’t-gotten-to-that-yets.  I would also be quick to say that we’re hoping to move in a few years, putting it out there that this isn’t my dream house.  Gratitude might not be evident in that tour.  And, I hate to say, it might not always be evident here on my blog.

So, I read the rest of the “home gratitude” challenge.  Melissa encouraged me to walk around my house and think about how thankful I am for it and to view each room “through the lens of gratitude.”  Since she knows people like me (us) tend to see the things we still want to do and buy and fix and replace and get rid of and work on, she specifically says to not do that.  It seems like that should be simple, but it really was very hard for me to look at each room for exactly what it is, not what it will be “when I’m done.”

So, I looked at my spaces for what they are.  Right now.

I love the light in my dining room.  The power company cut down a tree that blocked a lot of the light about a year after we moved in and I’m so thankful for that. It’s beautiful in real life and for pictures.  I’m also thankful that an artist, who didn’t know me apart from my blog, sent me an e-mail and offered to paint me a cow.  That cow became Eulalie and it’s my very favorite painting ever.  And what a blessing it was to find that chandelier at a yard sale (for $4.00), three years before we bought this house.

Miss Mustard Seed-250

In the living room, I’m so thankful for the awesome Craig’s List finds like the primitive hutch and Gustavian sofa.  I appreciate that Jeff lets me have this as a “pretty room”, when it really could be more functional.  I enjoy being welcomed into our home by things I love.

 Miss Mustard Seed-0528

One reader traded me for this chair and another sold me yards and yards of this checked fabric for $1.50/yard and both were totally perfect for me.


 I love how my family hangs out in our family room and kitchen.  Those rooms are always the messiest in the house, but it’s because they are busy.  Snacks, games, wrestling, movies, meals, reading, homework, crafts, building, battles, movie-making, Hex bug races, forts and more all take place in these spaces.  I’m thankful I was able to bring my vision for this kitchen to life almost exclusively through freelance projects and blog sponsorships.  I should remember how much God’s blessed this business and our family through it every time I’m scrambling eggs and washing dishes.



 I’m thankful for generous aunts, who know I love decorating and will bring me rolls of fabric when they are cleaning out their stash.  I’m also grateful for a room that is just for guests, so we can open our home when friends and family come to our area.


(Okay, the master bedroom is the hardest for me!!)  I’m thankful for a comfortable bed that I love sinking into at night and am reluctant to leave in the morning.  I love that we were able to create a space that feels luxurious and truly is a sanctuary.  I don’t often “play hooky” from work, but when I do, I want to hang out in this room, in that bed, with my jammies on.


This house has been more perfect for us than I ever imagined when we bought it.  It has a huge basement workshop that we didn’t know we would need for a business we hadn’t even dreamed of starting yet.  This home, with all of its quirks and angled ceilings, tiny bathrooms, funky layout, asymmetry and long, narrow rooms, has been everything we’ve needed and more.  It’s even given me little gifts like glass doorknobs, old wood floors hidden under berber carpet and chunky pine trim.

I need to express gratitude for this 1940’s cape cod, in a little Pennsylvania factory and orchard town, more often. Even just writing this post, focusing on all of the things I love and appreciate, makes me feel so much more affection for my home.

And shouldn’t we all feel that way about our homes?

Through this exercise, I also learned that I’m not one to point out flaws in things, but I am one to point out potential in everything.  “This is how this room could look if”, “this is the dress size I could wear when”, “this is what we can do when we have this much money saved”, and on and on.  There’s a hopefulness in seeing potential, but there is also a danger to not appreciate, enjoy and feel gratitude for things as they are.

I’m going to work on that.

Thanks for your inspiring and challenging words, Melissa.

Love the Home You Have Challenge Button

Visit THIS POST on The Inspired Room to see how other bloggers tackled a challenge from Melissa’s book.

PS – This is NOT a paid sponsorship.  I just wanted to support a fellow blogger, entrepreneur, author and friend.

home gratitude

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19 Comments on “home gratitude”

  1. Well said Marion! You have inspired me to do just as you have done, room by room. Thank you and I love to see your posts everyday.

  2. What a lovely post and it is SO important to appreciate what our precious homes hold for us. Thanks so much for reminding me to appreciate what I have today and yes, it is good and exciting to hope for making it “even better” but the words in this post and the descriptions you used made the pictures of your home – ones I have admired many times – seem even more beautiful.


  3. Marian, thank you so much for this post. Remembering thankfulness is a challenge for people like me, who tend to look around and see a to-do list growing longer. Your statement about touring the house, pointing out projects which need to be done, or excusing different things really resounded with me. Our home is still relatively new to us, so there are many things which still need to be done. In the meantime, being grateful is essential for me!

  4. This is such a lovely post, and thanks for the reminder! I too have a cute cape cod and love its wood floors, coziness, and some of its quirks 😉 . There are some decorating challenges, but then I step back into my blue and white kitchen and everything gets better :). The plates on the wall and craigslist chandy brighten my day….

  5. I THOUGHT I had found the perfect home for my down-sized life. Smaller house, smaller yard…a blank canvas that would allow me to fix it just the way I want my home to be now that my kids are getting older…as am I. God had other plans so now I am sitting here in a house that I thought was too big, nursing sore muscle from working in a yard that I thought was too big. And I am learning to love it again…because truth be told, I LOVE my home…and everything I have done to it the last 15 years making it “just right.” But I think when we try to sell our homes, we blow up the “flaws” in our minds so that we feel good about parting with it…then when we find ourselves having to stay put for the time being, we have convinced ourselves that it is ALL wrong…when a mere 6 months ago, it was perfect and we loved it. I have literally spent hours walking through my house reminding myself of what I LOVE about it. Soaking in the memories of rearing my children here! Funny how it works.

  6. I think this is so important to remember – Melissa’s message rings true for me, too. I love to see the amazing things you have done with your home, and appreciate you taking the time to share the things you love. Its amazing what a little change of perspective can do!

  7. I totally agree with you that we are thankful for our home, but like you said we have a never ending to do list for our homes both inside and out. Melissa’s book seems like it would be a wonderful read and I am putting it on my pick up list. Your home is so lovely and the décor is awesome, you definitely inspire me. It is great that your aunts see what you have done and have accomplished with your home and want to share their wares.

  8. Love this post! I have been looking for blue check fabric like yours for curtains and bedskirt and wonder if you could please share any information on your fabric?

  9. Great post Marian! Even though I have been without a kitchen for 16 months and the rest of the house looks like a warehouse as I juggle furniture etc while remodeling this fixer-upper I totally love my home. It is going to look just like me when I finish but for now I have a roof over my head, a safe home, and am loving it even if it is disheveled.

  10. This was exactly what I needed right now. My husband and I have been slowly renovating our home for the past 1 1/2 years and although we’ve made a complete transformation, I always focus on what we still need to do. It sometimes leaves me feeling discouraged and frustrated. What a great reminder that I should be grateful for all the renovations we’ve been able to do so far and the significant progress we’ve made. I guess we should remember, making a home is a marathon, not a sprint.

  11. Thank you! So often we don’t take the time to count our blessings. My mom wrote in my high school yearbook years ago…”Happiness is wanting what you have not having what you want”. Those words have always stuck with me because through them greater things have always come my way. She always appreciated the flowers blooming in the garden or rearranging her furniture to give it a new look. My niece, her granddaughter does the same. I always think it is a wonderful reminder to look at what we have around us and see the happiness it brings.

  12. Oh, boy! What a kick in the pants! I definitely needed to hear all that you said. I know I spend a lot of my time frustrated with my house and all it needs and all I would like to do to it. I never was in love with this 1100 sq. ft. ranch. The layout is backward–LR in the back, bedrooms and long, dark hall in the front. DR too tiny, side entry too small to get in the door with a bag of groceries comfortably. Tiny little bedrooms. Yard too big for me to keep up now that I’m alone, blah, blah, blah. BUT, we bought the house mainly because we had two little girls and this was one of the safest, friendliest neighborhoods in the city. Only one entrance, a nice park and a Neighborhood Association, plus some good friends down the street. And within walking distance of the elementary school the children attended. So I’ve always kind of just “put up with” the house and done what I could to improve it. But it’s never met my standards. I’ve been here 30 yrs., I’m divorced and my children are grown, and the yard is beyond by capability to tame. Oh, yes, and the taxes are high. I could write paragraphs about it’s shortcomings.

    SO, what can I love about this blankety-blank house? I’ll tell you. My backward-facing LR has a wide bay window which looks out onto a yard which backs up to a wetland area–no view of neighbors’ back yards, just trees and bushes. I have a deck in back off the DR which I can sit on when the weather is nice. We were able to redo the kitchen some years ago, so instead of the little, dark galley it was, it is now light and bright with a view from the stove onto that big backyard plus beautiful oak cupboards that reach the ceiling.I have a pleasant, comfy bedroom also facing the back yard so it is quiet, and tho’ it is small, it is adequate. My neighbors are all wonderful; the man on the one side plows my driveway and shovels my walk in winter and mows my lawn in summer. My furnishings include many beloved family pieces which remind me of my grandparents and parents. My roof is new and no leaks. My garage is big and holds all my “junk” and treasures!

    When I take time to consider this “dumb little ranch” I know that I am very grateful for it having served me well as a home to raise little ones in and a haven when I’ve needed it. I know that I am very blessed, especially when I remember that I have so much more than so many others on this planet. Thank you, Marian, for reminding me to look at the positive aspects of the house I call home and be thankful that I can express my creativity here in all the projects yet to be done! I appreciate so much your beautiful spirit and character as you share your tho’ts and talents with us.

  13. Reading this post, I kept thinking that you love the things in your home more than the actual spaces. LOL And those things will move with you when God commands you move. I am thankful for your home. I love the quirks, the intimate spaces, and small bathrooms don’t bother me… I am not in them for long. 🙂

    I wish we were closer, I would have purchased your home when it was on the market. I love it! I love the work you and Jeff have done and I love your decorating style. You guys have created quite a lovely space.

    It is okay to enjoy it while you are there but dream for other spaces. Don’t beat yourself up for it. 🙂

  14. Loved finding this post. I recently read Love the Home You Have and have started in on the 31 day challenge. It’s been an amazing journey and I wish I would have read this book when we lived in our old house. It would have made loving that home a whole lot easier. Liz http://www.4evermysweetpea.com

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